Erase All Content and Settings - JB iOS 4.3.3 Warning

Discussion in 'Jailbreaking & Hacking Tutorials & How-To Guides' started by f4780y, May 28, 2011.

  1. f4780y
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    f4780y Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Background
    If you have been following recent posts in the hacking section you may have come across 2 instances where members of the forum have tried the "Erase All Content and Settings" option on a Jailbroken 4.3.3 device and the results have not been as expected. I promised to investigate a little further an report back, and this thread is the result!

    Erase All Content and Settings
    On a normal stock iPad, invoking this option by choosing Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings, would normally wipe all of your content from the iPad and set it back to factory defaults. Occasionally useful, but if I am honest, I would normally just put a device into DFU mode and restore a nice fresh firmware if I wanted to achieve this kind of result. However, that is not what this post is about!

    On a jailbroken device it has long been recognised that running this option will corrupt the OS and make the device inoperable, forcing you to have to put it into DFU mode and restore through iTunes. Normally you would therefore steer well clear of this option if you are jailbroken.

    Benefit
    There was however one scenario where there was a clear benefit to using this option if you were jailbroken. If you had to hand your iPad back to Apple and for whatever reason you were unable to restore the device using a PC and iTunes yourself, you could choose "Erase all Content and Settings" on the iPad and hide the fact that you had been jailbroken from Apple, thus avoiding any argument about whether jailbreaking has voided your warranty. Because the device was rendered inoperable and a DFU restore would delete all traces of a jailbreak anyway, this was a reasonable solution to this one particular problem.

    Issue
    It appears that as of the most recent firmwares (I have confirmed myself on 4.3.3, but am assuming this is true of all 4.3.x firmwares) the "Erase all Content and Settings" option no longer works as expected. The device appears to start the process, a white apple with a progress bar appears for the briefest of moments, followed by a black screen with the traditional apple "spinner" which then sits there doing nothing until the battery exhausts or you reset the iPad by holding power and home for 10 seconds. One user has left the process running for 18 hours, so the problem is not timing. I left mine running for 15 minutes which is normally long enough for the process to complete.

    Once the iPad is reset, it boots back into your jailbroken iOS with absolutely no changes from where you started. All of yours settings, apps, content, and most importantly jailbreak information is still intact. Therefore it seems as though the option has hung before it has started any of it's erasing process could start.

    Recommendation
    All jailbreak users should therefore be aware that there is no longer a way to hide your jailbroken status from Apple if you do not have access to a PC and iTunes with which to perform a restore. For 99% of users this is not a big deal. Most folks would normally connect their iPad to their PC in DFU mode and press the restore button anyway. BUT, for the small number of users that would run into the situation where they are returning their iPad to Apple and don't have access to a PC with iTunes, they need to take this into consideration. It would seem for them, the only solution is to wait and find a PC with iTunes that they can use.

    I'd be interested to hear if anyone else can confirm or deny this scenario, particularly on firmwares other than 4.3.3 (I now have 3 confirmations for 4.3.3, so no need to further data unless you just want to try it out yourself)
    Last edited: May 28, 2011
  2. Retiredjack
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    Retiredjack iPF Novice

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    Just a thought, would the wipe option in the Mobile Me find my ipad function work?
    Of course this would apply to 3G devices.

    I'm to chicken to try it but it would be nice if someone would try it and report back.
  3. graywolf
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    graywolf iPad Super Guru

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    Sounds like a job for f4780y, he has 3G. :D
  4. v0n
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    v0n iPF Novice

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    Thanks a mil
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2011
  5. sutty0000
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    sutty0000 iPad Fan

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    The problem occurs when you have a jail broken iPad and the 30 pin charging port fails! Thats when you have problems!
  6. f4780y
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    f4780y Super Moderator Staff Member

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    In that scenario you can just let the battery die. If the iPad can't be charged then they can't tell it was jailbroken.

    It is actually if you cannot resolve a connection issue with your PC or you don't have access to a PC that there is a real problem...
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  7. sutty0000
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    sutty0000 iPad Fan

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    Infect, I never thought if that. Good thinking!
  8. JSerio
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    JSerio iPF Noob

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    Remote wiping

    Remote wiping via "find my iphone" now so i can use Jailbreakme.com for 4.3.3. Had less to lose on my ipad than my iphone, so if all works, iphone wipe is next. Report back when i get results, positive or negative.
  9. fabiossj
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    fabiossj iPF Noob

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    i'm in that situation, the usb port can charge the ipad 2 but the pc don't recognize the ipad... news on this ? i need to restore before take it to apple store!

    p.s. i already tried the find my ipad solution to erase all content and it's not working... any other solution?
  10. TheRambler
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    TheRambler Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Excellent report there f4780y, really interesting reading, wish id seen it before.....knowledge is power and all that!!
  11. f4780y
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    f4780y Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Try putting your device into DFU mode. iTunes should then recognise it and you will be able to press the restore button. The guide for DFU mode is here - http://www.ipadforums.net/ipad-hacking/27489-dfu-mode-dummies.html

    Make sure you allow your OS time to install the DFU device drivers. It may take up to 30 seconds after you enter DFU mode for the PC to recognise it. Do not interrupt the process. Then start iTunes and see how you get on...
  12. Knickie
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    Knickie iPF Noob

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    I've just done an Erase All Content and Settings on my first generation iPad running iOS 5.0 and it worked fine - except that it still seems to be jailbroken.
    I'd only done the "small" jailbreak using the tweaked redsn0w to activate the multitasking gestures only. Since the today released 5.0.1 supports the gestures on iPad 1st gen I wanted to update the device via iTunes and got an error saying "this device isn't eligible for the requested build".
    Tried a bunch of things with iTunes and redsn0w without any success. I'm sitting back running the "a-little-jailbroken" iOS 5.0...
    At this point it doesn't really matter since I've got all the features and a solid OS though I don't like the idea of an "unnecessary" jailbreak.
    But I see a problem coming up as soon as an update arrives that I need/want.
  13. penanot
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    penanot iPF Novice

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    Did you put your device into DFU mode?

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  14. Knickie
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    Knickie iPF Noob

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    Yes, and tried with different builds. iTunes regretted the restore.
  15. stonecold
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    stonecold iPF Noob

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    Hey I need some help here. My ipad2 is not detected in itunes not matter what i do. Tried hard reset, dfu mode, recovery mode. Couple different pcs. Only trickle charges even with wall charger, tried different wall chargers.

    If i do the reset all settings and content thing on 4.3.3 it really won't do anything? Can I safely try? Because if I try and bricks I won't be able to restore.

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